German DVD Market Weaker, Blu-ray, Online Sales Strong

Online Sales Leading Growth in First Three Quarters of 2010

COLOGNE, Germany – Blue aliens and Blu-ray buoyed home entertainment revenues in Germany as Avatar boosts disc sales and the Blu-ray format continues to gain market share.

German sell-through revenue was up 6% to 888 million Euros ($1.21 billion) in the first nine months of 2010, thanks to James Cameron’s environmentally-friendly Na'vi, which topped DVD, Blu-ray and Electronic Sell Through (EST) charts. Top DVD titles, after Avatar, were Twilight entry New Moon and Roland Emmerich’s disaster film 2012. German consumers bought a record 76.7 million titles over all formats in the nine-month period.

Standard DVD sales, however, continue to suffer from price gouging. The average DVD release retails for around $15 in Germany, down 4% on last year. DVD revenues also slipped some 14 million Euros to 753 million Euros over the period. But better Blu-ray and online sales more than made up for that drop. German Blu-ray sales nearly doubled year-on-year to 117 million Euros, or more than 13% of the total for the territory.

But online is where the real boom is. German buyers paid 16 million Euros to download 2 million titles in the first nine months of 2010. This time last year EST figures were closer to $600,000 with around 400,000 titles sold.

Germany’s rental business has also benefited from the digital revolution. While revenue from traditional, physical disc rentals continue to slide – down 4% through Q3 – online rentals have made up the difference.  Overall rental revenue in Germany so far this year held steady at 189 million Euros. In part this is because consumers are willing to pay, on average, $1.70 more to rent a film online than to hop down to the video store.